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The London-based neobank integrated the Intuit QuickBooks accounting platform into its Business Marketplace, allowing its small- and medium-sized business (SMB) customers to link their Starling bank account with QuickBooks and share data between the two, per AltFi.
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Customers can directly load their transactions into QuickBooks’ ledger, give their accountants instant access to their accounts, and link payroll to HMRC, the UK government department that collects taxes. QuickBooks is Starling’s eleventh partner on its Business Marketplace, showing the neobank’s continued commitment to its business model: In February, Starling pledged to add 48 new partners to the marketplace over the next four years.
Creating a marketplace of third-party services through application programming interfaces (APIs) is a common neobank business model. The marketplace model allows neobanks to diversify their revenue and quickly boost their product lineups without incurring development costs.
Third-party services also enable neobanks to expand their user bases, monetize financial data, and earn commission. For example, Starling and competing UK-based neobank Monzo have both integrated Moneyhub, giving users access to its categorization engine and personalized insights. Meanwhile, German neobank N26’s marketplace includes TransferWise transfers, while UK-based Revolut integrated QuickBooks in October.
Starling’s added focus on its SMB marketplace can help it achieve sustainable growth and reach its 2020 breakeven goal. The neobank counts 90,000 SMB customers and has been focused on growing its services for the segment: In July, it launched a bank account for single-owner businesses and expanded its SMB account services to multiple-owner companies, which could grow its addressable base by “hundreds of thousands,” according to Starling CEO Anne Boden.
The addition of QuickBooks could tie its SMB customers closer to its platform so they use Starling as their primary account — which is one hurdle neobanks face in their pursuit of profitability.
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